The NYC Department of Education offers Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) programs for eligible 4 year olds who reside in New York City. UPK programs
provide a nurturing environment where children’s natural curiosity is used as a springboard to learn skills that are necessary for success in school. In pre-kindergarten, children learn how to share, take turns and work in groups. They also develop the skills that form the foundation for reading, writing, and mathematics.
All UPK programs are free of charge. Programs can be half-day or full-day; half-day programs may take place in the morning or afternoon. Programs are available at select public schools and at many community-based organizations (CBOs). CBOs are independent groups that contract with the Department of Education to provide pre-kindergarten programs and other services to families.
Starting today, March 5, you can submit a pre-k application in person at an Enrollment Office or online. Applications deadline for public school programs is Thursday, April 5. The Pre-Kindergarten Directory is available at your local borough enrollment office and at the DOE pre-k webpage.
Before you begin the application, review the Pre-K directory and brochure and become familiar with the Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs in your community. Take time to gather as much information as possible; visit schools and attend open house events or tours.
New York's Universal Pre-K program facts:
- All universal pre-k programs are free of charge for children born in 2008 who reside in New York City
- Even though all 4 year olds are eligible, a seat in a public universal pre-k program is not guaranteed
- Programs can be half day (two and a half hours, AM/morning or PM/afternoon) or full day (six hours and twenty minutes)
- Programs are housed in public schools or in community based organizations, and each has their own separate application process. You can find the CBO application directory online here. To apply, contact each site directly to obtain specific information.
- Admissions are NOT first come first serve. Placement offers are made based on standardized admission priorities.
- Public school spots are given by lottery. First preference is given to Zoned students with a verified sibling who will be in grades K-5 in the school in September 2012. Additional admission priorities are detailed in the Pre-K Brochure.
- Applications available online or at a borough enrollment office only. Do not apply by mail. You may apply for a number of schools in one submission and rank those schools by order of preference.
There are information sessions in each borough starting next week. Representatives from the Office of Student Enrollment and the Office of Early Childhood Education will be available at the sessions to answer your questions. The sessions are often crowded so be sure to arrive early.
Pre-Kindergarten Information Sessions
All sessions will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
March 12, 2012
Sunset Park High School
153 35th Street
March 15, 2012
The High School of Fashion Industries
225 West 24th Street
March 19, 2012
Flushing High School
35-01 Union Street
March 20, 2012
P.S. 121 Throop
2750 Throop Avenue
March 22, 2012
P.S. 69 Daniel D. Tompkins
144 Keating Place
Once your application is complete the waiting begins. Notifications are not sent out until early June.